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Microsoft Details New Developer Certifications

At the VSLive Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft has released official details on its long-awaited certifications.

On the heels of Microsoft's unveiling of its Visual Studio.NET application development software at the VSLive Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft has released official details on its long-awaited certifications: Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) for Microsoft .NET and Microsoft Certified Solution Developer for Microsoft .NET. The new titles distinguish themselves from the current MCSD offering by their obvious ".NET-ness."

According to two FAQs that the company released to MCPmag.com, the MCAD for the Microsoft .NET credential is aimed at identifying those who specialize in "[developing and maintaining] department-level applications, components, Web or desktop clients, or back-end data services or [those who] work in teams developing enterprise applications." In the FAQ, Microsoft attempts to make the distinction between this title and the MCSD for Microsoft .NET, substituting "enterprise solutions" for "department-level applications" in the descriptions, then adding Microsoft .NET Framework to the MCSD's toolbag.

The new MCAD.NET track isn't "new." When MCPmag.com met with Microsoft's certification group at Fusion, Microsoft's partner conference late last summer, the group simultaneously announced work on this new developer track as it announced the mid-level MCSA systems administrator track (see "Microsoft Preps New Tracks for Systems Admins, Developers in News). Nor are the exams new; "Certification Corner," a newsletter that follows IT certifications had divulged the names last year (see "Developer Certifications Get Behind .NET in News).

The MCAD.NET credential will require passage of three exams in total, including one Web or Windows Application Development exam:

  • 70-305, Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Visual Basic .NET and Visual Studio. NET
  • 70-315, Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Visual C# .NET and Visual Studio. NET
  • 70-306, Developing and Implementing Windows-based Applications with Visual Basic .NET and Visual Studio .NET
  • 70-316, Developing and Implementing Windows-based Applications with Visual C# .NET and Visual Studio .NET

one Web Services and Server Components exam:

  • 70-310, Developing Web Services and Server Components with Visual Basic .NET and Visual Studio.NET
  • 70-320, Developing Web Services and Server Components with Visual C# and Visual Studio.NET

and one elective from among this list:

  • 70-305, 70-315, 70-306, 70-316 (as long as it isn't counted toward core credit above)
  • 70-229, Designing and Implementing Databases with SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition
  • 70-230, Designing and Implementing Solutions with BizTalk Server 2000, Enterprise Edition
  • 70-234, Designing and Implementing Solutions with Commerce Server 2000

The MCSD.NET title entails the same roster of exams, with some differences. The title requires five exams vs. MCAD's three. The candidate must pass both a Web Application Development test and a Windows Application Development test, as well as the Web Services or Server Components exam and an elective. Also required: 70-300, Analyzing Requirements and Defining .NET Solution Architectures. That the MCAD.NET seems to be a subset of the MCSD.NET was intentional, according to the FAQ.

Microsoft's requirements for both the MCAD.NET and MCSD.NET tracks come with one caveat that might prove confusing: Unlike the current MCSD requirements, Microsoft will only allow credit for one of the exams within the core pair. For example, a candidate will receive core credit for either 305 or 315, but not both.

Noticeably absent are the Visual C++ and Visual FoxPro exams. The company says it will announce later this year how it will slide Visual C++-based exams into the matrix, but makes no mention of its plans for Visual FoxPro-based exams.

Although Microsoft has stated its intention to release .NET Server exams for the new MCSE tracks as soon as possible after the release of the products, its developer exams aren't getting the same priority. Microsoft expects to release most of the new exams in beta testing form in June this year; 70-300 is expected to be in beta in early 2003. That means no one will be able to become an MCSD on .NET until next year.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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